The thing that is at the core of every hyper effective team is trust. Without it, any of the pieces that make the team hyper effective can fall apart very quickly. This is something that I have always instinctively known. I always work hard with my reports to make sure they can trust me. If they trust me, and more importantly I trust them, then I can ask them to take on work and then just come back every so often to see if they are stuck.

The other week I was in Washington, D.C to meet up with my manager peers. This was done with the plan to see how we can interact with each other, build bridges and more importantly build trust.

How did we do this?

We did a few trust exercises which, I am not going to lie was extremely uncomfortable. One actually made me shake in my boots was one where I had to think of things I was proud of last year and things I could have done better. Then I needed to say what I was planning for this year that I will be proud of. Once my part was done, the rest of the group could make comments about me.

“They are my peers, they are open to me all the time…” is what my brain should have been saying. In actual fact it was saying, “They are about to crucify you…”. The irony is that my peers are a lovely group who are amazingly supportive. My brain knows that but went into flight mode…

This exercise showed that people are allowed to say both positive and negative things about your work. Always assume the best in people (at first until they prove otherwise).

It showed that conflict is ok, in actual fact it is extremely healthy! Well as long as it is constructive to the group and not destructive.

We also read The five dysfunctions of a team which I highly recommend. It puts trust at the heart of all the things people do!.